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Honest PatriotsLoving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds$
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Donald W. Shriver

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195151534.001.0001

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Unreflected Absences

Unreflected Absences

Native Americans

(p.207) 4 Unreflected Absences
Honest Patriots

Donald W. Shriver, Jr.

Oxford University Press

So many “Indians” died in the onslaughts of European colonization, so many were diverted to reservations, and so little attention is paid Indian history in public schools that Americans generally are profoundly ignorant of who Indians were and are. This chapter documents some hopeful changes in this public cultural ignorance during the past thirty years: museums, films, history writing, high school history teaching, apologies, reparations, and memorials that promise some increase in public acknowledgment of the Indian claim, “We were here, and we still are here”. The author describes his own pilgrimage of learning about the original Powhatan nation of his native Virginia and the Mohicans of New York. The chapter ends with a survey of legal changes that have accorded new political power to members of the 550 surviving Indian nations, along with continuing legal and ethical tensions in the relation of two million Indians to the rest of the country.

Keywords:   Indians, Mohicans, Powhatan, treaties, racism, justice, sovereignty, history teaching, genocide, reparations

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